Never knowingly undersolved.

Guardian 25,744 – Tramp

Posted by Uncle Yap on September 18th, 2012

Uncle Yap.

I find solving and blogging this weekday puzzle  quite an ordeal, probably because the mini-theme did not find a resonance in me and also because there are far too many unfamiliar words and phrases in one puzzle for my liking. However, given these constraints, I must say Tramp has been quite fair and creative in his clueing and I did chuckle at places, although few and far in between.

 Place cursor over clue number to read the clue

1 BATH BUN BATH (something run) + BUNNY (Playboy hostess) minus NY (New York) for a rich sweet bun that must have originated from the city of Bath in SW England
5 SCHMIDT SCH (school) + ins of D (Deutschland, Germany) in MIT (German for with) Helmut Heinrich Waldemar Schmidt served as Chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982.
9 REIKI rha for a form of Japanese natural therapy involving the laying on of hands or gentle massage.
10 CHICANERY Cha of CHIC (stylish) ANE (first letters of Armani New Evening) RY (railway lines)
11 INGLENOOKS *(OK NINE LOGS) for alcoves by large open fire
12 PRAT Cha of P (parking) R (right) A T (junction)
14 MOLE DRAINER Ins of *(ORDEAL) in MINER (one going underground) pointed cylinder on the lower edge of a blade, which is drawn longitudinally through soil to form a drainage channel
18 DARNING EGGS Ins of N (new) in DARING (courage) + EGGS (place for soldiers, narrow strips of toast or bread for dipping into half-boiled eggs) aka darning mushrooms – smooth curved objects, usu wooden, to support material being darned.
22 STRING BEAN Ins of RING (circuit) + Bernie Eccleston in STAN Laurel (half of Laurel and Hardy comic duo)
25 MEASURE UP Cha of ME (writer) A SURE (certain) UP (Pixar film of 2009)
26 WOODY Ins of OO (two Oscars) in W (with) DisneY for Woody, a pullstring cowboy doll (voiced of Tom Hanks) character in Toy Story
28 TOYNBEE TOY (first part of Toy Story, answer to 8D) N (short for AND as in Rock n Roll) BEE (buzzer, from Buzz Lightyear, answer to 24,15) I wonder why the def “our writer” and whether the reference is to the colourful Philip Toynbee
1 BARBIE BARB (hook) IE (id est, that is) Toy Story (answer to 8D) Bridesmaid (answer to 3) – I reckon the non-appearance of Barbie in Toy Story (due to objections by Mattel, the rights owner) is clued ala “always the bridesmaid, never the bride)
2 TWIGGY Lesley Lawson (née Hornby; born 1949), widely known by the nickname Twiggy, is an English model, actress, and singer of the 1960s. I wonder about DINKY
3 BRIDESMAID Ins of RIDES (journeys) + MA (Mum) in BID (offer) Nice touch of a def
4 NACHO NAC (rev of CAN, tin) HOT (spicy)
5 SLINKY DOG SouL (heartless soul) DINKY (toy cars) DOG (corgi, perhaps) for a character in Toy Story
6 See 17
7 INERRANT Cha of IN (at home) ER (drama, Emergency Room) RAN (was shown) T (time)
8 TOY STORY TOYS (amuses oneself) TORY (blue as in Conservative) for the Pixar film featured as mini-theme for this crossword puzzle
13 PASSAGEWAY PASSAt Golf E (electronic) WAY
15 See 24
16 ADENOMAS *(A SAD NEMO) for benign tumours
17,6 MR POTATO HEAD *(TOAD METAPHOR) for a character in Toy Story
19 RESORB Rev of BROS ( a British band active in the late 1980s and early 1990s, consisting of twin brothers Matt Goss and Luke Goss along with Craig Logan) ER (Elizabeth Regina, Queen)
20 ENZYME Acrostic, last letters of fodder
23 INPUT PUTIN (Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin the President of Russia) with IN (governing) moved in front
24,15 BUZZ LIGHTYEAR Ins of ZZ (pair of unknowns) in *(BY I,one LAUGHTER) for a character in Toy Story

Key to abbreviations

dd = double definition
dud = duplicate definition
tichy = tongue-in-cheek type
cd = cryptic definition
rev = reversed or reversal
ins = insertion
cha = charade
ha = hidden answer
*(FODDER) = anagram

Helmut Schmidt – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

71 Responses to “Guardian 25,744 – Tramp”

  1. EB says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap and Tramp.

    Another fine puzzle by Tramp IMO – I do like his themes.

    I was hoping to see how 21ac NEON was parsed as I couldn’t see it for myself while doing the crossword; now having looked at it here I guess it’s – N = New so NN = News; E = Energy; O = short O(F) so EO ‘breaking’ NN.

    The Toynbee in question here is clearly Polly who is in fact the daughter of Philip.

  2. NeilW says:

    Thanks, UY. This was fun but I had to work out some of the characters from the clues alone as my daughter’s grown up but not yet got to the grandchildren stage so TOY STORY rather passed me by. Still, much has entered popular culture so I guess it’s fair enough as a theme.

    I agree with EB’s parsing @1 of NEON.

    I thought “amorously” a little unnecessary in 8, adding to the smut value I suppose but that seems a little out of place given the theme.

  3. Fat Al says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap.

    This was the first time a theme has helped me, as the youngest is at an age where I’ve seen the movie several times.

    I must be improving as I managed the unheard of before INGLENOOKS and MOLE DRAINER from the word play. Had to do a bit of searching for BATH BUN, DARNING EGGS and TOYNBEE to finish though, and still couldn’t parse 21a or 7d. So thanks again UY and EB@1 for those.

  4. Miche says:

    Thanks, UY.

    Very satisfying, though it took me a while to find a way in. The first theme-related answer I got was WOODY, which sent me in the wrong direction as I’m going to see Mr Allen’s latest this evening. I’ve never seen a Pixar film, but thanks to merchandising I’ve heard of the main TOY STORY characters.

    I think “3” in 1d might simply be the numeral, rather than the answer to 3d: BARBIE does appear in Toy Story 3, says IMDb.

    As EB says above, “our writer” in 28a is the Guardian’s Polly TOYNBEE.

  5. Uncle Yap says:

    Our writer for Polly Toynbee here will be the only time when this clue is 100%correct. When syndicated and reprinted in other papers …
    Could have made this clue universally applicable by simply dropping the “Our”

  6. NeilW says:

    Yes, UY but how often do we see “guardian” used to clue “we” or “us” in clues?

  7. yvains says:

    In 2, ‘Dinky’ is surely a reference to Twiggy’s size.

    I thought this was a superb puzzle, with some really inventive clueing, especially in 8, 13, 22, 28. I knew nothing at all about the theme (other than having to buy a 24, 15 for my grandson once) but the clues were all scrupulously fair.

    As for there being “too many unfamilar words and phrases in one puzzle”, I don’t really see how Tramp is supposed to second-guess solvers’ areas of knowledge. :)

    Thanks very much, for both a highly-entertaining puzzle, and the blog.

  8. EB says:

    Further to 2d – “Dinky” was/is a brand of toy/model cars produced by Frank HORNBY also famous for MECCANO and the eponymous Hornby model railways.

  9. NeilW says:

    EB, @8 and their main competitor, of course, was Corgi (5dn)…

  10. Uncle Yap says:

    yvains @7, if you have set a puzzle before, you will understand that when one tries to fit in a certain number of theme words, it will leave the remaining empty spaces awkward to fill with what Ross Beresford calls core words; thus requiring off-beat and unfamiliar words like BATH BUN, REIKI, INGLENOOKS, MOLE DRAINER and DARNING EGGS, for example. Tramp, as a setter. will readily admit this terrible contraint as a result of the theme words.

  11. KeithW says:

    As both NEO and N can be clued as “new” most of 21ac is redundant, News gas would have sufficed.

    I agree that 8d’s “amorously” is shockingly too near the knuckle. I was forced to hide the crossword from my eight year-old in case he was tempted by the theme.

    I am intrigued sometimes by the admitted gaps in solvers’ vocubalary. I understand, of course, that we are all different and one might not have come across words that to me are common usage. I am sure too that there are some of us who began this puzzle by writing in RESORB and ADENOMAS without a moment’s thought.

  12. molonglo says:

    Thanks Uncle Yap. I agree with all yvains’s points @7. Spent an hour over this, needing no aids but slight familiarity with the theme – entry point for me was MR POTATO HEAD. The numerous never-heard-ofs were all gettable from the clueing. Big tick for this, Tramp.

  13. KeithW says:

    KeithW @11

    Vocabulary. At school we had small “Vocab” notebooks to record new (to us) words and woe betide any boy who hadn’t added sufficient since the last inspection. Mr Pritchard, the Lower School Headmaster would give us a weekly test but as this consisted of the same dozen words each week it didn’t expand our knowledge greatly. I can, however, still spell accommodation, pharoah, separate, necessary and oases (plural) with Mr Pritchards Welsh accent guiding me along.

  14. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the blog, UY.

    ‘Could have made this clue universally applicable by simply dropping the “Our”’ – but it would have lost a lot of its point. [And, as NeilW says, Guardian = we/us is commonplace.] If you google ‘Polly Toynbee’ you will find her almost invariably identified as ‘Guardian writer / columnist’. She is also a devotee of the crossword [see her here at Rufus’ birthday celebration so I imagine she’ll be quite chuffed today.

    I’ve never seen ‘Toy story’ but, like others above, have somehow managed to absorb the names of the characters and so, with Tramp’s impeccable cluing, managed to get most of the answers without too much trouble.

    I loved the almost &lit INGLENOOKS [one of my favourite words] which went nicely with the memory of my grandma darning socks by the fireside, using a ‘mushroom’ like this rather than an egg.

    I really admired 20dn, too, and laughed at 12ac.

    As usual, lots of fun to be had – many thanks, Tramp!

    [Keith W@13: only 80%, I’m afraid. 😉 ]

  15. martin says:

    What’s wrong with you people? 8 is easy to solve and gives the theme. I didn’t know the characters in Toy Story but it’s easy enough to get them on-line. Then if there are words you don’t know you have to use the clue word-play to find them and use a dictionary to cross-check. Don’t you want a challenge? And suggesting that bath bun, inglenook etc. are odd words shows a woeful lack of vocabulary. This is the Guardian Crossword not the Telegraph! And how can you blog the Guardian and not know its writers, Polly Toynbee for example. This was a very easy cross word but very clever and witty. And I love the use of amorous with its double-entendre.

  16. Artie Fufkin says:

    The ONLY good thing to come out of a night when your 21 month old son refuses to sleep is that you can make an early start on the morning puzzle. I must say that Tramp always sets themes which seem to suit my tastes, crammed with inventive clueing and sublime misdirection: Fawlty Towers, Monty Python and now this, a Toy Story theme. The Toy Story films must be the most consistently brilliant film trilogy ever made with part 2 being that rare thing of a sequel arguably surpassing the original.

    Favourite clues were 2D (ingenious misdirection here) and 17,6 which suggests the ‘work’ metaphor of Phillip Larkin’s Toad poem. Quite brilliant.

    Uncle Yap: The digit ‘3’ in 1D refers to the fact that Barbie appears in Toy Story 3.

    Exceptional puzzle Tramp! Just hope I get some sleep tonight now.

  17. NeilW says:

    martin @15, I think most “you people” above were, myself included, making the same points as you but I can’t agree with your admiration for adding innuendo just for the sake of it. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good guffaw as much as the next solver; it’s just I prefer there to be some relevance to the overall construction of the clue.

  18. Dave Ellison says:

    The only word I found obscure was REIKI, but this was clear from the clue. DARNING EGGS I had not heard before, but it was so close to DARNING MUSHROOM which my grandmother used. MOLE DRAINER my father used, but it also appeared, dismally, in the last episode of the BBC’s Victorian Farm.

    A great Xword, with so many references included, as others have illustrated. One other is 26a, Disney, who released the film.

    I was struggling with 1ac (thought it was MILE BUN, which I couldn’t confirm) and 1d, so I googled TOY STORY BRIDESMAID, and was annoyed to see immediately BATH BUN, in a reference to Fifteensquared. Google’s updating is too swift these days.

  19. Uncle Yap says:

    martin@15 “And how can you blog the Guardian and not know its writers, Polly Toynbee for example” is as erudite as “How can you live in England and not know the village called Par?”

    Next task for Gaufrid – to organise a workshop for Guardian bloggers to know everything there is to know about The Guardian”

  20. John Appleton says:

    As with many others, the theme wasn’t my area of expertise, and some of the solutions were new to me, but I can’t argue with the clueing.

  21. Uncle Yap says:

    Art Fufkin@16
    As is apparent from my comments, I have never heard of nor seen the film Toy Story and so had to rely on Wikipedia to complete this blog. In part it said “It was screenwriter Joss Whedon’s idea to incorporate Barbie as a character who would rescue Woody and Buzz in the film’s final act.[65] The idea was dropped after Mattel objected and refused to license the toy. Producer Ralph Guggenheim claimed that Mattel did not allow the use of the toy as “They [Mattel] philosophically felt girls who play with Barbie dolls are projecting their personalities onto the doll. If you give the doll a voice and animate it, you’re creating a persona for it that might not be every little girl’s dream and desire.”

    Have I misread?

  22. yvains says:

    @Neil – I’d say ‘amorously’ was fully justified by Chambers.

  23. rhotician says:

    I agree with NeilW that the “adult” humour of the clue for the theme is especially inappropriate.

    However, Tramp can plead in mitigation that he found the joke in Chambers’ last definition of ‘toy’ – to flirt or amuse oneself amorously (with).

  24. yvains says:

    I do hope all the under-eights attempting this puzzle will be offered counselling.

  25. rhotician says:

    Yvains, you beat me by one minute with the information. But I can’t agree that Chambers’ naughtiness “fully justifies” Tramp’s. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  26. Gervase (for it is he) says:

    Thanks UY (though you seem a mite curmudgeonly today)

    Another really entertaining puzzle from Tramp. I had no difficulty with the theme – in fact, it made for several write-ins. Like other posters, I am more familiar with DARNING ‘mushrooms’, and MOLE DRAINERS were unknown to this townie, though the word play led me straight there.

    Some nice definitions: ‘something run’ = BATH, ‘place for soldiers’ = EGGS, ‘Does she sort train’ = BRIDESMAID. I liked the extension of the ‘Toy Story’ theme into the surfaces of other clues: Pixar for 25ac, ‘toys’ for 2dn, 5dn. ‘Amorously’ isn’t really necessary in 8dn, but it didn’t upset me as much as the appearance of Bros in 19dn.

    Favourites, for their simplicity and surfaces: 12ac, 2dn, 20dn, 23dn.

  27. Stella Heath says:

    Personally, I doubt any kid of the age to enjoy Toy Story would have any idea what the innuendo in 8d refers to, or even understand crossword clues in general, though they might be happy to supply adults with missing answers – in any case, the inclusion of “amorously” led me to the correct verb, and thereby to the answer, which wasn’t too much help, as like others I have only absorbed the relevant information through popular culture. I avoided Disney films even when my kids were young.

  28. Gervase says:

    Apologies for not having adjusted my moniker from Saturday

    Uncle Yap @21: I’m sure you haven’t misread Wikipedia, but the piece refers only to the first film in the (excellent) trilogy. Mattel obviously relented subsequently – perhaps because they realised how popular the series had become – and BARBIE does indeed appear in Toy Story 3, as clued by Tramp. (So does Ken, BTW).

  29. NeilW says:

    yvains @22. You are correct and I plead guilty: it never occurred to me to hunt in Chambers for the meaning of the word TOY.

  30. Artie Fufkin says:

    I’ve hidden this puzzle in a box labelled ‘keep out’ under the bed beneath my three volume set of 50 Shades of Grey.

    Seriously though, people are offended by different things. I accept that some people could take offense at some clues here. Personally, I found nothing even mildly offensive in this offering. I can go through the Guardian any day of the week and find numerous references to bad language, sex and violence that I wouldn’t want my child reading. Today’s front page of the website offers a 5 star review for a video game (Borderlands 2) which looks unsuitably violent to me and an article about Amsterdam’s oldest prostitutes. I’d have a preference for keeping my son away from such things over him questioning the meaning of the word ‘amorously’. To be honest, I’d be pleased that he took an interest in extending his vocabulary. Then again, he is only 21 months so that would be impressive!

    On another point, I’ve seen a few comments on the official website referring to Toy Story as being a kids film. Not at all, the medium used may be via CGI but the films deal with childhood, growing up and friendship. The stories and characters are better than 99% of non-animated fare that gets released in cinemas. I’d urge anyone who hasn’t seen these three films to watch them. They are exceptional.

  31. rhotician says:

    Yvains @24 – It’s not the under-eights that concern me, it’s Tramp’s arrested development and his persistent inflicting on us of his schoolboy sense of humour. The originality of much of his clueing just underlines the fact that he can do much better.

  32. Ian SW3 says:

    I have to say that I didn’t immediately link toying amorously with sex toys — perhaps I’m too innocent. Probably an eight-year-old would likewise fail as well to see any innuendo.

    I don’t think the Guardian will be too concerned about this one, as my complaint to the crossword editor about the answer to 2d in this puzzle – – fell on deaf ears (and I didn’t get much sympathy on the blog), as mine was the only comlaint he received, and “[n]either the Guardian nor its crosswords are aimed primarily at young children.” Fair enough, but my 5-year-old daughter often insists on filling in the answers for me and is keen to ask the meaning of any words she doesn’t know. I know better than to let her see me with the Private Eye crossword, but a “broadsheet” daily really ought to be safe.


  33. Tramp says:

    I only have limited access to a computer today as I’m away with work. I’ve ony skim read the above comments but here’s my reply (I might add more tonight).

    Thanks for the blog. So sorry you found it an ‘ordeal’ but I was pleased to read that you got the odd “chuckle” to ease the pain. I thought theming a crossword on one of the most successful movie trilogies of all time was a good idea: perhaps I was wrong. I’m pretty sure when I wrote this puzzle that I checked that all non-thematic words were in Chambers and Collins. I have to challenge the point covered in #5: I wrote this crossword for the Guardian and will get paid for it from the Guardian. In that respect, Polly Tonybee is ‘our’ writer. I don’t think ‘writer’ is specific enough given that the clue references two thematic answers. Why do I have to make the clue “universally acceptable” and if it were to appear in another paper, would I get some royalties?

    This puzzle was written in the early part of 2011 and submitted in the summer of that year. The original version had a short preamble that read “Four solutions lack definition and are related to a fifth solution”. I was conscious that it might get forgotten about and fearing someone might use the theme, I suggested to Hugh that we rewrite it to remove the need for the instruction. I’m quite happy with the resulting puzzle. The “Dinky toy” clue managed to win a Silver Award back in February 2009 in Paul’s weekly clue-writing competition — I thought it warranted inclusion in this puzzle. “Dinky” refers to the model’s physique and to the fact that Dinky toys were invented by Frank Hornby.

    As has been said above, the “toad metaphor” is a nod to Philip Larkin’s Toad — the only poem I ever remember reading at school; I didn’t understand a word of it. The ‘amorously’ in the TOY STORY clue is perhaps unnecessary but is a direct lift from the definition of TOY in Chambers. The ‘3’ at the end of the BARBIE clue has nothing to do with BRIDESMAID but refers to the fact that Barbie appears, along with Ken, in Toy Story 3.

    My original clue for BATH BUN was “Something run by Miss New York off Playboy model — sweet thing”. At the last minute, I thought the imperatival ‘miss’ was a bit clumsy so I changed it; I do prefer its surface to the rewritten version.

    I have a schoolboy sense of humour and I have no plans to suppress it.

    Thanks for the comments


  34. Giovanna says:

    Hello Tramp and thanks for the entertainment!Have made a note to see the films now.Life would be jolly boring if one lost one’s childhood sense of humour.

    Thanks also to Uncle Yap for his explanations.

    It was good to learn new expressions such as darning egg for darning mushroom and all the Toy Story references were solvable from the excellent clueing.

    Keep them coming!

    Giovanna x

  35. Jim says:

    Know nothing of Toy Story, but managed to solve clues from cryptic definitions. Took rather a long time (50 minutes).

    Stumbling block was 16dn/21ac.

    Thought of “Neon” immediately, but could not solve the anagram for 16dn given check letters of ?D?N?M?S.

    Therefore decided Neon was wrong and entered AN(e)ON which made 16dn impossible.(?D?N?M?S).

  36. chas says:

    Thanks to UY for the blog. I had totally forgotten about soldiers/eggs so you explained why I had the right answer.

    The theme was no help to me as I have never seen Toy Story. I have heard of Buzz but the other 8 characters were new to me.

    I (usually) enjoy reading Polly Toynbee so I had no trouble with ‘our writer’.

  37. Mitz says:

    Thanks Tramp and UY.

    Haven’t had time to contribute here for a while, but as I have managed to complete the puzzle even though I am at a conference this morning (make what you will of the implied quality of the conference…) I felt the need to add my four penn’orth:

    Unusual words, fairly clued? Check.
    Nicely worked theme, gettable whether the solver is familiar or not? Check.
    Laughs? Check.
    Ingenuity, mis-direction, eureka moments? Check.

    In short, another fabulous puzzle from Tramp, whose efforts are an increasingly enjoyable treat.

  38. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Thank you, UY, for the blog.

    I wasn’t that keen on the last Tramp puzzle, but this one I did enjoy. I couldn’t get TOY STORY, but then with a few other clues solved, I got BUZZ LIGHTYEAR (‘pair of unknowns’ was a help) and then we were away. So SLINKY DOG, BARBIE and WOODY went in straightaway (which is the ‘problem’ with a theme like this).

    The rest took a bit of getting, however, with DARNING EGGS and MOLE DRAINER being unfamiliar; but I thought INPUT, SCHMIDT and BRIDESMAID were excellent; and PRAT really did make me laugh.

    Those who don’t appreciate schoolboy humour will no doubt be catered for by Gordius, roughly twice a month in this slot.

  39. David W says:

    Thank you Uncle Yap et al for explaining all the cleverness I missed. I agree with Martin @15 that 8 is easy to solve – provided that you know where you’re going, or at least you recognise it when you get there. I’d never heard of “Toy Story”, so it was my last one in, after filling in the theme answers just by guesswork.

    What a waste. Perhaps I should get some grandchildren!

  40. rowland says:

    To me this person seems like a compiler on a learning curve, with the clues seeming to me very woolly or long-winded on occasion, and for me there is an issue with the sense of quite a lot of them. They just don’t mean anything, and so they kind of couldn’t be anything else other than crossword clues. Plus the theme thing again, as with today’s Indy, is one you either know or you do not.

    There are quite a few newer Guardian compilers at this stage just for now, ib my personal opinion. Are they running before they can walk?


  41. crypticsue says:

    Apart from the MOLE DRAINER I had no problems with this one – I had watched one of the trilogy and have a great nephew obsessed with it at one time so had no problems filling in the characters. Didn’t notice the innuendo in 8d until a post solving read through.

    Thanks to Tramp for a very enjoyable, not that difficult, themed start to Tuesday.

  42. yvains says:

    @33 Thanks for the input/background, and for the promise not to suppress your sense of humour (though of course humour really should try to be more, erm, serious).

    One more thought on the ‘unfamiliar words’ issue: I delight in finding the occasional word or phrase which was previously unknown to me, as ‘mole drainer’ here, especially if it has an interesting definition – so long as it’s fairly-clued, as all of these entries were. I think Mitz (@37 above) with the four ‘Checks’ has it spot-on.

  43. Robi says:

    Entertaining but quite difficult for me. Like Miche @4, I got WOODY early on and with reference to a film I also thought of WOODY Allen and WOODY Harrelson. My grandson would probably have done better as he has a BUZZ LIGHTYEAR computer.

    Thanks UY and Tramp for dropping by. I really can’t see what all the fuss is about for 8. ‘Amuses oneself amorously with’ is, as Chambers points out, a perfect description of toys [with] in the sense of he/she just toys with my affections etc. The double entendre meaning of the whole clue is quite sophisticated (and funny!), and unlikely to be deduced by a child, I think. As others have pointed out there is a lot worse in the paper each day.

    I particularly liked BATH BUN, CHICANERY and DARNING EGGS, although I have never heard of the latter (or a MOLE DRAINER, come to that.)

  44. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks all
    42 posts and I haven’t lunched yet!
    Tramp is usually a reliable setter and although this was at the easier end of his spectrum it gave me an enjoyable solve.
    I have not seen ‘Toy Story’ although all the references have entered my cognisance through our culture so were easily gettable.
    Last in was ‘Barbie’ because I took it as Captain Hook and hence (JM)Barrie.
    I liked the ‘something run’ as an indicator for ‘bath’ (1ac). Am I right in thinking this kind of ‘definition’ has become common recently – I like them.
    Other favourites were 21ac, and 20d. 7d took a long time to parse.
    Polly Toynbee is not just A Guardian writer, she is THE Guardian writer,famous well beyond the pages of the newspaper.

    Finally, a serious complaint. Could those of you with smutty, schoolboy minds please stop getting your Victorian knickers in a twist over vocabulary which those of us with mature natures (ie Guardian readers!) can allow to pass by without any disturbance.

  45. Artie Fufkin says:

    Rowly. Is it the compiler that is on a steep learning curve or yourself as a solver? Can you please enlighten us with examples of clues which “don’t mean anything” ?

    Just out of interest, the Toy Story films have grossed well over $1 billion in box office receipts. It would be hard to pick a theme which is more universally well known!

  46. JollySwagman says:

    Great puzzle – managed OK even though I hadn’t even heard of the theme.
    Thanks Tramp and UY.

    UY – I agree with your point about syndicated puzzles – and I hardly imagine that setters would expect to get royalties on account of that when it is a routine thing. Where I live Indy puzzles are run 3 weeks late (in a Murdoch paper!) but with no byline. It must be tough on solvers who don’t know when they’re facing a Nimrod.

    OTOH your list of the “off-beat and unfamiliar” is more familiar to me than the usual run of antelopes and walk-on parts from Greek mythology that habitually populate puzzle with no adverse comment.

    @Rowly #40 – I am at a loss to understand what your issue is, and to make such a blanket denunciation of any setter you should surely back it up with examples. I thought the cluing was superb, as did many others above. Maybe it’s really just a wavelength thing.

  47. JollySwagman says:

    @Artie #45 – The higher the box office takings the less likely that I’ve seen it – or even heard of it.

  48. f4f3 says:

    Superb fun – loved the theme, and in particular 2 down, where I spent a lot of time trying to work in TRIANG. And as for 8 down, please, keep your dirty minds to yourselves…

  49. Artie Fufkin says:

    @JollySwagman #47 – That’s fair comment but there’s a higher chance that more people will know what it is. Besides, I would say that only the Barbie reference requires any knowledge of the actual films. Some of the answers are characters which a massive amount of people would know. I think a clue/theme needs to be known to most Guardian readers in order to be fair. I for one welcome more modern themes.

  50. rowland says:

    Well, perhaps ‘lumpy’ or ‘bitty’ is a better summation of my reading of it, but I did stress it is a personal view. Sorry if it offends! And maybe I was a little harsh anyway.

    Thanks all,

  51. rowland says:

    Btw my crossword of choice is The Times, which should tell you something!

    Cheers R.

  52. rhotician says:

    RCW @44 – “knickers”. Tee hee. I like it. Don’t we all?

  53. Trademark says:

    Far too many obscure words and tenuous definitions (Adenomas = “Things that grow” – Seriously?!!?) to make this enjoyable.

  54. embolus says:

    Just a medical pedant, but the plural of adenoma is adenomata

  55. Tramp says:

    Thanks for all the comments. If you haven’t seen the Toy Story trilogy I can’t recommend it enough. The end of TS3 is cinematic perfection and would bring a tear to a glass eye.

    embolus: you’re correct, but Chambers also gives ‘adenomas’.



  56. RCWhiting says:

    “things that grow”, “something run”, very allusive – I love it.

  57. Sil van den Hoek says:

    When one’s got everything right (including the unfamiliar ADENOMAS (which could have led to 12 different solutions after having everything except the vowels)) and when one hardly does know anything about the Toy Story theme, it says something about the quality of the crossword.

    Furthermore, mentioning Armani, Daz (great clue!), the Volkswagens, Bernie Eccleston, Dinky & Corgi toys (remember the cheaper option Matchbox?) and the swimming Nemo, well, that’s Tramp – he likes it like that.

    I do not understand a word of rowland @40.
    I assume he refers to Qaos, Philistine, Picaroon and, of course, Tramp..
    In my opinion these setters are the icing on the Guardian’s cake nowadays.
    How patronising can one be saying “Are they running before they can walk”?

    In yesterday’s blog we had RCW making a similarly bald statement about crosswords:
    “I do not accept the view that there must be an easy (not up to Guardian standard) cryptic every single Monday (whoever sets it). Beginners should go elsewhere (D.Tel,FT,Everyman etc) to train themselves before coming to The Guardian which has (or used to have) a reputation as the ‘best’ (ie hardest) daily paper cryptic”.

    Dear RCW, ever solved an Alberich, Loroso, Cinephile or Neo?
    Dear rowland, please stick your beloved Times crosswords (re post 51) if you don’t like the, in my opinion, adventurous clueing of Tramp and stablemates. You’ll be much happier.

    Well done, Trampo!

  58. Paul B says:

    There you are Rowland: ‘stick your … Times crosswords’! Crikey Sil, steady on old bean. And I hope you’re not suggesting that Times compilers are unadventurous: you are SO in the soup!

    Was The Grauniad ever really THE hardest? Some of the compilers were undoubtedly fairly tricky, e.g. Fidelio, Bunthorne, Araucaria on his less charitable missions, Enigmatist, but for most serious daily solvers (AFAIA) The Times is usually the one associated with the lion’s share of stinkers.

    In any case, from what we learn from his posts (he solves Azed etc), I’d be very surprised if 15^2 doyen RCW is not himself a Times aficionado. He’s such a brusque fellow, which puts a strain on relations rather, but I think we should be told, obviously.

  59. Derek Lazenby says:

    Tramp, and of course Chambers knows far more about medicine than medical reference works.

  60. Sylvia says:

    I appreciate this entertaining and instructive site, particularly today’s (57, 58?) brilliant comments, which I applaud and made me laugh out loud.

  61. rhotician says:

    Derek @59 – Your compaign against setters, “wordsmiths” in general and Chambers in particular is not helped by your prediliction for sarcasm.

    Chambers gives both plural forms for all the -nomata/nomas. Wiki consistently uses -nomas. Anyone can submit suggestions for improvements/corrections to Wiki. I suggest you go there.

    While you’re at it you can offer advice on their article on “ratio”. I recently had a chat with an acquaintance on this subject. As a retired Professor of Mathematics he gave the matter due consideration and concluded that your opinions are “irrational”.

  62. Davy says:

    Re Sil’s comment at 57, methinks there is a missing ‘to’ in the penultimmate line. Should read ‘please stick to’
    but its amazing how the omission of one simple word can give a completely different meaning. Perhaps it was intentional.

  63. Davy says:

    Please pardon the double ‘m’. Don’t know where the second one came from.

  64. Sil van den Hoek says:

    Paul B (@58) and Davy (@62): leaving out ‘to’ was just a typo, no bad intentions whatsoever.

    Paul B: I must admit I do Times crosswords only occasionally. Despite the fact that they are very precise and often clever, it is the house style (in my opinion, leading to somewhat sterile surfaces) that does not appeal very much to me.

    In my perception there is a lot more going on during an average Guardian crossword week. Not just in a positive way, there is much to criticise too. However, in general, I find the mixture of styles quite attractive.
    Perhaps, that’s what I meant with ‘adventurous’ – it’s more an overall feeling than just about the clueing itself (which in case of The Times is undoubtedly first-class from a technical POV).

  65. Rorschach says:

    The perennial paradox of crossword solvers:

    1 – why don’t more young people do crosswords?

    2 – Toy Story?!?! What is this?!?! Bloody setter!?!?!

  66. RCWhiting says:

    Thanks for the publicity, gents.
    “Brusque” but never rude. A style worth cultivating.

  67. anax says:

    Rorschach @ 65:

    Any way this blog can incorporate a ‘Like’ button?

  68. rowland says:

    Toy Story would be for the VERY young though, Rorshach? But I still like the clever way you pin down the inconsistencies we see.

    On Sil, Paul B and Davy I think someone was having a bit of a chuckle, which is fine by me. I’m a Times lover, but I think it’s good to do the other titles as well, just to keep the hand in.

    Many thanks all. Enjoyed this thread.


  69. Artie Fufkin says:

    Been working on this over 2 days and just finished with a couple of gaps (i’m a relative beginner). Great stuff as ever from Tramp, I must be on his wavelength as his are consistently the ones at which I do best. And looks like I need a new moniker as there’s another Mr Fufkin :-)

  70. Paul B says:

    No problem there.

  71. Ste says:

    Excellent themed puzzle which was a pleasure from start to nearly the finish. Jessie instead of Barbie caused me problems – found Jess hooks existed so was sure this was correct. Fave clue TOYNBEE ( also a fave journo)
    Thanks again Tramp

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